(Oneida, NY- April 2013)  Three talks on Upstate New York Historical Sensations will be featured during the Oneida Community Mansion House’s spring Adult Enrichment Series.  The talks on consecutive Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. begin on April 25 and are free to the public.

On April 25, Christa Shusko will speak on the topic, “Invisible Organs: Animal Magnetism in the Oneida Community.”

Dr. Shusko, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at York College of Pennsylvania, earned a Ph.D. at Syracuse for research into 19th-century religion and the Oneida Community. Her presentation will illuminate the great fads of animal magnetism and mesmerism, which taught that magnetic forces radiating from people effect cures, exert sexual attraction, and open doors into the spiritual world.

On May 2, Joscelyn Godwin presents ‘Upstate Cauldron: Eccentric Spiritual Movements in Early New York.” Professor Godwin’s talk will introduce our region’s wonderfully colorful past of revivals, millennial expectations, utopian communities, paranormal phenomena, psychological anomalies, and charismatic leaders with bizarre claims. While many are aware that Shakers, Mormons, Spiritualists, Adventists, and various brands of Perfectionists started in upstate New York, this talk introduces some lesser-known figures.

The English-born scholar is a Professor of Music at Colgate University where he teaches music history and a course on “rejected knowledge.” A wide-ranging polymath, Godwin has published many books including Mystery Religions in the Ancient World; Harmonies of Heaven and Earth: The Spiritual Dimension of Music from Antiquity to the Avant-Garde; Athanasius Kircher’s Theatre of the World; Arktos: The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism, and Nazi Survival; The Pagan Dream of the Renaissance; and the first English translation of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili of 1499.

On May 9, Cathy Rosa Klimaszewski examines traditional textile art in “American Album Quilts: Social Media of the 19th Century.” Klimaszewski is Associate Director and Ames Curator of Education at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University. She is, herself, a textile artist with experience organizing quilt exhibits. Accompanying Klimaszewski’s talk, examples of a pictorial quilting tradition at the Mansion House will be on display.

The Oneida Community Mansion House is located at 170 Kenwood Ave., Oneida.

For information call 363-0745 or visit www.oneidacommunity.org.


By martha

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